Test Pit 20: Warwick Drive

Test Pit 20:        Warwick Drive

22nd June 2014

By Martin Cuthbert

Test Pit 20 was located on the east side of Warwick Drive, to the south of Stewkley Road. The test pit was located in the rear garden of a 19th century property.

This property is approximately 350 metres northeast from the medieval core of the village and just north of ridge and furrow earthworks depicting medieval agriculture in Jubilee Green, so we weren’t expecting to find Saxon or Medieval finds, but perhaps evidence of prehistoric or Roman activity.

Topsoil overlay a deposit of subsoil which in turn overlay the natural.

The topsoil and subsoil deposit contained modern and Victorian pottery along with brick fragments and glass. Two small sherds of Medieval pottery were recovered from the topsoil. Three small sherds of Roman pottery (AD100-400) were recovered from the subsoil along with another 13 medieval sherds all dating between AD1100-1600. A single small sherd of Saxo-Norman pottery was also recovered dating between 950-1350.

The assemblage indicates activity was occurring within the vicinity of TP20 in the Roman period.  However, the worn condition of the sherds suggests that they may have been moved from their original place of deposition by plough activity. Following the Roman period the site fell out of use until the 11th century where it was re-inhabited from the 11th century into the modern period. The Medieval finds coupled with the finds from Test Pit 5 indicate that medieval settlement activity is occurring away from the church and core of the village, perhaps indicating that Stewkley Road has historic origins.

The nicest find of the day was the 15th century horse harness decoration, in the shape of a shield, a family coat of arms would have once been visible. It will be interesting to hear what our specialist makes of this, we will keep you posted.

A huge thank you to Paul from LBDAHS, all our volunteers,   Paul Blinkhorn for his pottery analysis and Alison for allowing us to dig a hole in her garden.

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